Protecting the River
While out on the river there are several things you can do to insure the protection of the Winooski and its tributaries.
Pack it In, Pack it Out
If you bring something on the river with you, make sure it goes off the river with you. Wrappers, plastic water bottles and trash in general can be attractive to wildlife who might choke on it and die or get it caught in their digestive tracts causing major problems.
Wash Your Boat, Wash Your Gear
Didymo, an aquatic invasive algae was found in the Mad River in 2008. When in bloom the algae produces up to 3 ft stalks of woolen-like mats that lay on the river blocking out sun-light and disturbing the habitat for existing aquatic life. Fishermen should always wash their gear after leaving a body of water in hot soapy water for 30 minutes or in a bleach solution.
For boaters it is important to wash both the outside and inside of boats to make sure you have removed any hitchhiking invasives after paddling. If you've gone in the water for a swim or otherwise, your flotation device should be soaked in hot soapy water for 30 minutes.
Respect Land Owners Property
Much of the land along the Winooski and its tributaries is privately owned. Before camping or accessing the river, always ask the land owners permission.
Don't Trample the Vegetation
When you entering and exiting the river, try to stay on designated or existing paths, don't veer off into vegetation that may be helping to hold up the stream bank. If notice an access point in need of improvements, let us know!